MDSA is hosting a blood drive on September 28th, and we would absolutely love to pack the day with blood donations. For us to be able to do that, we would like to take a minute to help explain the benefits of blood donation, as well as explain it a little better for some of you that may be hesitant. After all, donating something that is so essential to life can be confusing the first time you do it. It is easy to research, but we wanted to help consolidate some of the most important information, and answers to frequently asked questions, in hopes that some of you seeing this may decide to join us in our goals.
First of all, what is it we are doing? We have partnered with Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center to host a blood drive this September. We had a wonderful turn out last year, and want to continue the tradition to help save lives. Through Gulf Coast, there are different donation types. You can schedule your appointment online so it conveniently fits into your day at- https://www.commitforlife.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/295225?fbclid=IwAR2f4FWwbyYQn3aX9cBk3yarW2APD9Un2_-rsJl4JMbfRV9_WgErADGgEv8
How can you donate? When you sign up for a time slot, you are signing up for a whole blood donation. When you are seen, you can choose to change that donation type if you qualify. DIfferent types of donation include whole blood, platelets, plasma, and double red.
You may ask “What’s the difference?”
Whole blood is something everyone can donate. All blood types qualify, and it takes about an hour start to finish. Whole blood is what is used in emergency situations and when someone is going in for surgery.
Double red, or “power red”, donations are when an automated system takes a concentrated red cell donation and separates it from the plasma and platelets, which are painlessly returned back to you. The separation is done simultaneously, in the comfort of your donation chair. Red cells are what they give to trauma patients, newborns, people who suffer from sickle cell anemia, or any significant blood loss. It takes about an hour and a half for this type of donation, and the ideal blood types are: O positive, O negative, A negative, and B negative.
Platelet donations an apheresis machine collects your platelets along with some plasma, returning your red cells and most of the plasma back to you. A single donation of platelets can yield several transfusable units. This is the most valuable donation to help individuals suffering from cancer, or needing transplants. Because of the process, this type of donation can take two and a half to three hours, and the ideal blood types are: A positive, A negative, B positive, O positive, AB positive and AB negative.
Lastly, Plasma. If you are among the elite AB blood type, you can donate your plasma. AB Plasma can be given to anyone, regardless of blood type, in an emergency situation. It is vital to aid in severe trauma and other injury and illness that you need to control bleeding. It only takes an hour and fifteen minutes, and anyone that is AB positive/negative can donate!
In case we may have lost some to the thoughts that it isn’t quite that easy, we will take a minute to address some of the reasons that people think means they can’t donate. Have you recently had a baby? Six weeks after delivery, you are allowed to donate. Have you had a blood transfusion in the past? After 12 months, you too can donate. What greater blessing is there than being able to pay it forward! High Blood Pressure? If it is managed with medication, you can donate. In fact, most medications are perfectly safe to donate while taking. You can see a full list of conditions and types of medication here http://www.giveblood.org/faq.aspx to see if you qualify to donate blood.
Why donate? Blood donations save lives! For every whole blood donation, you can save up to three lives. THREE! Can you believe it? One hour of your time, and one pint of blood that a healthy body can replicate in 48 hours, can be the difference between life or death for three people. If someone told you that all it took for you to be a hero was to sit around for an hour and read a book, or play a game, would you hesitate? Especially if you knew you would also get a snack?! Crazy, but true!
Last, but certainly not least, who do you benefit by donating? The answer- everyone! We already addressed how one donation can save THREE lives, but everyone can benefit from your donation. You can be the hero that’s donation saved a family member, or a dear friend. Maybe your donation made it possible for a doctor to live and save others. You will never know the far stretch of the lives touched and saved by your one, selfless donation, but to someone, you may make the impossible possible. Think of those impacted by recent hurricanes, they need you, and your neighbors, friends, and family. In times like these, most wonder what can they do to make a difference, especially being far away? Donate blood!
Need another reason to come join us on September 28th?? September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month! What better time to sign up to #commitforlife!!
Can’t donate? Volunteer to help! Check out our FB page for a signup genius link to bring snacks or volunteer in another way to make this event a success!
So to quickly recap:
What- Blood Drive
When- September 28, 2019 12-4PM
Where- The Moriah Davis School of the Arts
Who- Everyone 16* and up!
Why- Be a HERO!!
*Individuals who are 16 years old, at least 122 pounds and in general good health may donate blood with a signed parental consent form. As The Blood Center is currently participating in a clinical trial to screen all donated blood for the Zika virus, a Research Participant Information Sheet is included with the parental consent that 16-year-old donors should take home to have signed. As of Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, 17-year-old donors are no longer required to have a signed parental consent.